Does preschool matter? The little Einsteins’ case file

Again, another group of preschoolers being asked to label the parts of a plant! I keep hearing these things and I am amazed at how young children are tasked to do things that are not useful at this age. They should be getting separated parts of a plant, know the names verbally  and helped to place the parts correctly instead.

Parents who have the time and energy can provide the basic ingredients of early childhood education in their homes.  If you have the resources to provide your young child with a variety of learning experiences and exposure to other children and adults ( possibly through neighborhood play groups), along with the opportunities for extensive play, then home schooling may sufficiently educate your child. Seems like a huge feat right? Especially in an economy like ours!

If the opposite is the case as it is most likely for  a lot more people, then it DOES matter whether a child attends preschool. In Nigeria, preschool begins between ages 2-3 and ends at age 4. Most of our kids have started elementary by 5 years of age. People tend to think that preschool attendance ensures that the pupils will finish early or on top in an educational race not realizing that in some cases, starting too early might do more harm than good.

Do you know that in Denmark for example, reading instruction follows a language experience approach and formal instruction is delayed until the age of 7? And guess what…..illiteracy is virtually unheard of! By contrast, France, where state-mandated formal instruction in reading begins at 5, 30% of children have reading problems. With this backdrop, how are we faring in Nigeria? See what a preschool curriculum should.

Preschool education should not be stressful for young children. Early childhood education should have it’s own curriculum, it’s own method of evaluation, classroom management and it’s own teacher training programs.

Preschool does matter. The idea is for young children to derive best results from the experience. Let preschools be what they are; a place where age appropriate learning is practiced. A place where creativity, problem solving, exploration and discovery of the world through play is built. They can be Einsteins’ but absolutely not through stress. 

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  1. This is one area of education I’m intersted in. I think that we are pushing the kids too much. If the kids learn about problem solving, we may be building people who will help solve the problems we face in Nigeria

  2. The amazing part of it is when a 3year old can count from 1-100 and the parent is so excited. We need to refrain from teaching the children too early so they don’t experience a “burn out”.

  3. The real issue is the unacceptance of the facts on ground. If techers are oblivious of the right methods and standard practices, then there is a real matter. Help is already on the way with this blog.

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